Friday, March 09, 2007


Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park impressed me, but it wasn't until after its sequel that I got fascinated by dinosaurs. Not that the sequel was any good, but one of the major museums in the Netherlands hosted the "Lost World" exhibition in that period - I was about nine years old when my parents took me to The Hague to see it. And to be honest, I didn't like it all that much. I felt that I didn't know enough about dinosaurs, or geology in general, to fully appreciate the fossils and reconstructions on display. The whole thing made me feel rather ignorant, I just couldn't grasp it. But that was going to change, of course: I was going to be a paleontologist.

Being a paleontologist was not going to be as exciting as portrayed in dinosaur movies - I knew that. Exciting in a different way, at least. One of the first scenes in Jurassic Park shows the excavation of a velociraptor in the middle of nowhere, people shoveling and brushing bones, camping in shabby trailers for months at a time. Compared to the rest of the movie it is not terribly exciting and action-packed. But I saw myself there, that was what I wanted to do. The fact that dinosaurs would never be running around, that you would never be able to see them in real life or touch their skin (or know the colour of their skin) didn't matter. As long as I could bring it to life in my mind, I would always be able to see much more than a heap of dry old bones.

I realized then that imagination would be all I needed - and the idea of losing it whilst growing up became one of my biggest fears.


  1. But you didn't lose it (your imagination) did you? You're incredibly imaginative. Imagination/creativity are the best escapes. Do you still want to be a paleontologist?

    Great post Renee! :)

  2. ah yes the loss of imagination - our imagination often gets skewed with age, hardships and knowledge but we have to keep it alive, sounds like you're doing that!


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